Caricature of Edward Snowden holding a swirling spiral of light

Austinites will virtually welcome Snowden to town at SXSW.

Austin, Texas is preparing to host a rock star. The ACLU’s Blog of Rights announced today that Edward Snowden is going to appear at Austin’s famous festival via live video at SXSW Interactive.

SXSW is heavily attended by music and film industries, but Austin is also a fast-growing tech hub, a long-standing oasis in the vast desert of Texas fundamentalism and one of America’s coolest counter-culture havens. As the ACLU blog points out, SXSW is…

…the festival that brings together tens of thousands of technology professionals and enthusiasts every year in Austin. He’ll be talking to the ACLU’s Ben Wizner and Christopher Soghoian. The panel will take place on March 10 at 11 a.m. Central Time. A live stream will be available on The Texas Tribune‘s website, and the video will be available here afterwards.

SXSW’s website is promoting it as “A Virtual Conversation with Edward Snowden” that will focus “on the impact of the NSA’s spying efforts on the technology community, and the ways in which technology can help to protect us from mass surveillance.”

This is a rare opportunity to hear him in his own words, something that most Americans were denied when he was interviewed by German TV ARD in January.  The New York Times only had excerpts and the full interview — which is quite enlightening and shows Snowden to be bright, circumspect and clear about his motivations — was mostly blacked-out by the mainstream media.

In fact, it is still blacked out. Go to ARD’s website and you will be denied access to the English-language interview. Luckily, you can access it here at “Next News Network.”

If you haven’t watched it, you probably should … and do it soon. The NSA’s Secret Squirrel State is always on the prowl and ready to pull the plug on the truth.

And here’s a hearty “thank you” the denizens of Austin for always “keeping it weird!”

Image by DonkeyHotey released under a Creative Commons license.